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Al-Hadi al-'Abbasi

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Al-Hadi al-'Abbasi
4th 'Abbasid Caliph
Personal Information
Name Musa b. Mahdi b. Mansur
Teknonym Abu Ja'far or Abu Muhammad
Epithet al-Hadi al-'Abbasi
Birth 145/762
Death 170/786
Father Al-Mahdi al-'Abbasi
Children Ja'far
Rule
Dynasty Abbasids
Reign 14 months
Contemporary with Imam al-Kazim (a)
Activities Suppression of the Uprising of Fakhkh
Predecessor al-Mahdi al-'Abbasi
Successor Harun al-Rashid

Mūsā b. Mahdi b. Manṣūr titled as al-Hādi al-'Abbāsi (b. 145/762 - d. 170/786) was the fourth Abbasid caliph. al-Hadi al-'Abbasi ruled about 14 months. During his rule, 'Alids were under surveillance and their allowances were cut. During the rule of al-Hadi al-'Abbasi, Sahib Fakhkh made an uprising in Medina which was suppressed by him. He considered Imam al-Kazim (a) the main cause of provoking 'Alids in the Uprising of Fakhkh; and thus, he decided to kill Imam al-Kazim (a), but he died before committing that.

al-Hadi al-'Abbasi wanted to appoint his small son (Ja'far) as the crown prince instead of Harun al-Rashid, but he could not. He followed the policy of his father, al-Mahdi al-'Abbasi in standing against Zindiqs (non believers) and killed many of them. After him, his brother Harun al-Rashid reached caliphate.

Life

Musa b. Mahdi b. Mansur b. Muhammad b. Ali b. 'Abbas titled as al-Hadi was the fourth 'Abbasid caliph. His teknonym (kunya) was Abu Ja'far[1] or Abu Muhammad[2] and was born of a female servant called Khayzaran.[3] He reached the caliphate at the age of 25 in Muharram 169/786.[4] He was the youngest caliph until that time.[5] He was very dear to his father[6] and was appointed as the first crown prince by his father at the age of 16 and was chosen as the leader of the army.[7] Toward the end of his life, al-Mahdi decided to replaced al-Hadi with his other son, Harun, but he died before doing so.[8] At the time of Mahdi's death, al-Hadi was in Jurjan[9] and was fighting with the people of Tabaristan;[10] therefore, his brother Harun gave allegiance to him at the very same day of al-Mahdi's death[11] and took the allegiance of the great Abbasid chiefs and commanders of the army for him.[12]

Al-Hadi decided to transfer crown princehood from his brother Harun to his 7 year old son,[13] Ja'far;[14] and made a lot of efforts in that way,[15] and since Ja'far was very young, al-Hadi tried to put pressure on Harun and convince him to resign himself. So, Harun escaped from the capital and did not return there until the end of his brother's life.[16]

He was physically strong.[17] He was famous for his bravery and talent in government and generosity. However, he was a cruel, daring and zealous.[18] Because of a defect he had in his lips, he was also known as "Musa Atbaq".[19] He was interested in literature and history and very much loved songs.[20]

Death

He ruled for about one year and two months and died in Baghdad[21] at the age of 25[22] or 26 in 170/786.[23] Some considered his death due to illness and some others mentioned that he was killed in sleep by the order of his mother due to family disputes, by one of the female servants.[24] His brother Harun performed prayer upon him and he was buried in 'Isa Abad.[25]

'Abbasi Dynasty
 
 
 
 
 
 
al-'Abbas b. 'Abd al-Muttalib
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
'Abd Allah b. al-'Abbas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
'Ali b. 'Abd Allah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Muhammad b. 'Ali
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ibrahim al-Imam
 
al-Saffah
(r. 132/749-50 - 136/753-54)
 
al-Mansur
(r. 136/753-54 - 158/775)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
al-Mahdi
(r. 158/775 - 169/785-86)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
al-Hadi
(r. 169/785-86 - 170/786-87)
 
Harun al-Rashid
(r. 170/786-87 - 193/808-9)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Muhammad al-Amin
(r. 193/808-9 - 198/813-14)
 
al-Ma'mun
(r. 198/813-14 - 218/833)
 
al-Mu'tasim
(r. 218/833 - 227/841-42)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
al-Wathiq
(r. 227/841-42 - 232/846-47)
 
 
 
 
 
al-Mutawakkil
(r. 232/846-47 - 247/861-62)
 
 
 
 
 
Muhammad
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
al-Muhtadi
(r. 255/869 - 256/870)
 
al-Muntasir
(r. 247/861-62 - 248/862)
 
al-Mu'tazz
(r. 251/865 - 255/869)
 
al-Mu'tamid
(r. 256/870 - 279/892-93)
 
al-Musta'in
(r. 248/862 - 251/865)


Encounter with 'Alids

Al-Hadi al-'Abbasi was harsh on 'Alids and treated them cruelly. He cut all their allowances which were assigned for them at the time of al-Mahdi al-'Abbasi.[26] Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani mentioned these actions because of the fear from 'Alids' uprising against al-Hadi.[27]

He ordered his agents to watch all 'Alids' activities, put some spies among them[28] and made an order about them through his agents to go to Dar al-Imara and register their presence.[29]

Suppression of the Uprising of Fakhkh

Main article: Uprising of Fakhkh

In the first days of al-Hadi's government, 'Alids of Hijaz led by Sahib Fakhkh made an uprising in Medina[30] and were heavily defeated by the government. In this battle, many of 'Alids and Sahib Fakhkh's companions were killed.[31] Al-Hadi's harsh encounter made the situation in Hijaz difficult for 'Alids. To free from this situation, they turned to one of the chiefs of 'Alids known as Ali b. Husayn b. Hasan and urged him to make an uprising.[32] However, some believe that he looked for an opportunity to take the power since many years ago, considered it among the rights of 'Alids and looked for an opportunity to make an uprising; and that the oppression of al-Hadi toward 'Alids gave him the opportunity for uprising.[33] In any case, he found the opportunity to make an uprising[34] and began his movement in 169/786. He first took over Medina and released the prisoners[35] and imprisoned Abbasid agents[36] and made Masjid al-Nabi his command center. Then, he moved toward Mecca and camped in a valley called Fakh, six mils from Mecca.[37] People of Mecca did not accept his invitation. At that time, Abbasid army led by 'Isa b. Musa[38] arrived in the region and after engaging in a battle, Husayn and his companions were defeated and killed.[39] This event became famous as the event of Fakh in the history and Husayn became known as Shahid Fakhkh (the martyr of Fakhkh) or Sahib Fakhkh.[40] After the event of Karbala, this event was considered the most heart-wrenching events for 'Alids and many laments were composed about it.[41]

Treating Imam al-Kazim (a)

After the event of Fakhkh, al-Hadi al-'Abbasi accused Imam al-Kazim (a) of provoking revolutionaries and considered him the chief blameworthy person for the uprising of 'Alids in the event of Fakhkh. So, he was very angry and decided to arrest and kill Imam (a), but he died before he could implement his decision.[42]

Continuing the Policy of Standing against Zindiqs

The same as his father, al-Hadi hated Zindiqs (non believers) and followed his father's policy in chasing and punishing them.[43] So, he killed a group of them[44] including Yazdan b. Badhan and 'Ali b. Yaqtin[45] and also a group of them who had made an uprising in Jazira region.[46]

Notes

  1. Masʿūdī, al-Tanbīh wa l-Ishrāf, p. 297.
  2. Ibn Athīr, al-Kāmil, vol. 6, p. 101; Ibn Qutayba, al-Maʿārif, p. 381.
  3. Masʿūdī, Murūj al-dhahab, vol. 3, p. 324.
  4. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 10, p. 157.
  5. Ṭaqūsh, Dawlat-i ʿabbāsīyān, p. 91.
  6. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 10, p. 159.
  7. Khiḍrī, Tārīkh-i khalāfat-i ʿabbāsīyān, p. 51.
  8. Ṭaqūsh, Dawlat-i ʿabbāsīyān, p. 91.
  9. Ibn Qutayba, al-Maʿārif, p. 380; Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 10, p. 157.
  10. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 8, p. 187; Ibn Athīr, al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh, vol. 6, p. 87.
  11. Ibn al-Jawzī, al-Muntaẓam, vol. 8, p. 305.
  12. Masʿūdī, Murūj al-dhahab, vol. 3, p. 324; Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 404.
  13. Ibn Ḥazm, Jumhurat ansāb al-ʿarab, p. 23.
  14. Masʿūdī, Murūj al-dhahab, vol. 3, p. 333; Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 10, p. 158.
  15. Ibn Athīr, al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh, vol. 6, p. 96.
  16. Ṭaqūsh, Dawlat-i ʿabbāsīyān, p. 94.
  17. Masʿūdī, al-Tanbīh wa l-Ishrāf, p. 297.
  18. Ṭaqūsh, Dawlat-i ʿabbāsīyān, p. 91.
  19. Ibn Athīr, al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh, vol. 6, p. 101.
  20. Ṭaqūsh, Dawlat-i ʿabbāsīyān, p. 92.
  21. Ibn Aʿtham al-Kūfī, al-Futūḥ, vol. 8, p. 372.
  22. Masʿūdī, al-Tanbīh wa l-Ishrāf, p. 297.
  23. Ibn Athīr, al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh, vol. 6, p. 101; Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 406.
  24. Ibn Miskawayh, Tajārub al-umam, vol. 3, p. 488.
  25. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 8, p. 205; Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 406.
  26. Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, al-Aghānī, vol. 5, p. 6.
  27. Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, al-Aghānī, vol. 5, p. 6.
  28. Ṭaqūsh, Dawlat-i ʿabbāsīyān, p. 92.
  29. Jāsim Ḥusayn, Tārīkh-i sīyāsī-yi ghaybat, p. 67.
  30. Masʿūdī, Murūj al-dhahab, vol. 3, p. 326; Bilādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 3, p. 136; Maqdisī, al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh, vol. 6, p. 99.
  31. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 10, p. 157; Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, Maqātil al-ṭālibīyyīn, p. 365.
  32. Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 404.
  33. Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, Maqātil al-ṭālibīyyīn, p. 372.
  34. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 10, p. 157.
  35. Ibn al-Ṭaqṭqaī, al-Fakhrī, p. 189.
  36. Khiḍrī, Tārīkh-i khalāfat-i ʿabbāsīyān, p. 52.
  37. Ibn al-Ṭaqṭqaī, al-Fakhrī, p. 190.
  38. Maqdisī, al-Bidaʾ wa l-tārīkh, vol. 6, p. 99.
  39. Masʿūdī, Murūj al-dhahab, vol. 3, p. 326-327; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 8, p. 192-204.
  40. Ṭaqūsh, Dawlat-i ʿabbāsīyān, p. 93.
  41. Masʿūdī, Murūj al-dhahab, vol. 3, p. 327.
  42. Jāsim Ḥusayn, Tārīkh-i sīyāsī-yi ghaybat, p. 67.
  43. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 10, p. 157.
  44. Ibn Athīr, al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh, vol. 6, p. 89.
  45. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 8, p. 190.
  46. Khiḍrī, Tārīkh-i khalāfat-i ʿabbāsīyān, p. 52.

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